ROCHESTER, Minn. - On Thursday, people took a swing at Willow Creek Golf Course for the 13th annual Tee It Up for the Troops.
The pre-golf event ceremony kicked off with a parachute jump by the Patriot Parachute Team. World War II veterans, Blue Star mothers, and Gold Star families were honored.
"It's just such an honor to be out here and to see so many people care about the military and what our military's doing for us and remembering that that families are left behind," says Kay Swenson, who's son Curtis was killed in action on April 4, 2010.
More than 600 American flags lined the course, installed by volunteers from Mayo Clinic, John Marshall, Century, Schaeffer Academy and Lourdes High Schools and Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Operation Hometown Gratitude and the Boy Scouts.
Rochester Tee it Up for the Troops has raised $800,000 in the past 13 years. From this year's event alone, it expects to raise $75,000. Proceeds benefit national military and veteran service organizations such as Fisher House Foundation and Disabled Sports USA, and locally at Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Southeast Minnesota, Operation Hometown Gratitude, SALUTE Southern Minnesota and Ironwood Springs Ranch.